Now that I have been an Emory University graduate for eight months, I’ve had some time to reflect on what my favorite experiences were and what I would have regretting not doing while I was there. If you’re on the campus right now, here are 12 things that you’ll regret not doing at Emory University before you graduate!
1. Making Greek Life Your Only Extracurricular
I was involved in Greek life for a year and a half, which left little time for other clubs and jobs. It’s hard to commit to too many things on top of school, but I learned that joining a pre-professional club helped me make some important decisions, and Emory University has many of those clubs. The pre-law really helped me commit to the law school path and introduced me to many people in that career who could give me valuable insight. While I also had a great time in Greek life, it’s important to try out multiple clubs and activities!
2. Attending School Spirit Activities
Many people complain that Emory University doesn’t have a lot of school spirit, but going to Wonderful Wednesday and the homecoming concerts are some of my fondest memories. It’s a chance to hang out with your friends and support their clubs if they have a table there. School spirit at Emory University is a different kind of school spirit, you just have to participate in it to know. One of my biggest regrets was not going to the Post Malone concert because I was too tired. Also, with all the freebies at the events and free beer sometimes, it’s always worth it to go!
3. Studying Abroad
I did an internship abroad for a summer and it was such a valuable experience for confidence building and perfect if you’re getting antsy with the campus. Emory University has so many great programs all of the world to choose from and has been developing their summer internship abroad program, which can hook you up with an amazing job. All of my friends who studied abroad loved it and would have had a completely different college experience if they had not done it. Being homesick and adjusting to culture shock can be hard, but it’s the most fun way to see the world!
4. Getting to Know Your Classmates
I know it’s easy to just stick to your friends and not make an effort to get to know the people who sit around you in class. Sometimes putting yourself out there is scary. I once sat next to a girl for an entire semester without her ever saying a word to me. However, befriending my classmates saved me from failing a neuro-science heavy psychology class and in introduced me to one of the core members of my squad. Even if you don’t become best friends, it’s nice to know the person who sets next to you to make class more bearable!
5. Getting Close to a Professor
Not only can bonding with a professor teach you so much, but if you’re planning on going to grad school it is important to have a good connection with the professors who write your letters of recommendation. A more detailed and personable letter can really improve your chances in getting into grad school or even getting a job after graduation. Getting close to one of my English professors freshman year helped me learn how to research and write well, which is a skill I will always use.
6. Taking Classes Outside Your Major
Because I came into college with AP credits, I was able to finish my major by the end of junior year. I continued to take class in my major and minor but I also saw it as an opportunity to learn about something that I wanted to know more about. One of the best classes I took was a Holocaust literature class and I would have never learned so much about it unless I had taken that class. Just don’t take computer science for fun if you’re not into math, its rumored to be one of the hardest classes at Emory University. That was biggest regret that one of my friends ever had in her whole time in college!
7. Going to Lullwater
There are many pretty parks in Atlanta. Lullwater happens to be one of the prettiest ones and it’s so close to the dorms. There’s even an entrance from the Clairmont Campus! If you’re stressed, or tired of working out in the gym, you can run around the lake or hike further up in the woods. It can also be a great place to do something introspective thinking, or have a picnic if you’re in the mood for something lighter. It’s a relaxing place to be and a great place to go on a walk with friends!
8. Going on a Leadership Retreat
Emory University has countless leadership retreats and many club executive boards go on them as well. I did a retreat called LeaderShape over winter break during my sophomore year and it gave me the confidence to take on leadership roles at school. Being around other people with so many ideas was actually inspiring (cheesy, I know!) and made me believe I could achieve my personal goals. To some people it may sound like a waste of precious winter break, but it is something that I know I would have regretted not doing and a way to meet new friends.
9. Taking Advantage of the Career Center
Emory’s career center has so much more than just advice. You can meet mock interviews, resume editing and building, get help with graduate school applications and they can even help you decide what to wear! Many majors have a specific person who can help you decide what kind of job you could have with your degree once you get it. It’s important to take advantage of these resources before you graduate because once it’s gone and career help is harder find once you’re out of college.
10. Exploring Atlanta
It’s easy to get stuck in the bubble of campus and without a car, because it’s hard to get around Atlanta without having a car. So many people don’t explore and it’s a big mistake; there are so many cool parts of Atlanta that are so different from the Emory area. Of course, I’m biased being from Atlanta, but there really is so much to do there. It’s always good to get a break from campus and see something different so order and Uber or take an experience shuttle and get out there!
11. Listening to Guest Speakers
So many famous people have come to speak at Emory. I’ve seen ESPN corresponders, respected authors, and even got to see Jimmy Carter speak. You’ll never get a chance like this after college to see such a wide variety of guest lecturers, so it’s important to take advantage of that, especially because most events are free! You’ll be required to go to some for classes, but it’s worth it to check the school calendar to see people that you’re really interested in.
12. Living Close to Campus
Once junior year hits, many people’s instinct is to move off campus and some people even move to different parts of town. In the dorms your friends are next door and suddenly being two or three miles away from them makes hanging out harder. The friends who moved to midtown or farther seriously regretted it. I’m so glad I chose to live at the Clairmont campus even if it is a dorm 2.0. Also, there are more resources readily available and people to help if you live closer to campus. I saw my friends every night and I had such a fun time junior and senior year!